Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Disturbing Development

     Apparently, Amazon has been deleting reviews of the books of conservative and libertarian writers. At any rate, reviews are disappearing some time after they were posted and noted by the books’ authors. Amazon has declined to explain the phenomenon to the affected writers.

     It appears that yet another front in the political wars has just been opened.

     If you’re an indie writer, as I am, reviews are a precious, irreplaceable marketing tool. A bevy of positive reviews will help to sell a book better than any other tool in the indie writer’s kit. While it can’t be traced directly to a decline in revenue, the loss of reviews certainly imperils future sales. So it’s understandable that a writer who sees his book’s review count decreasing would be concerned.

     Mind you, I have no idea whether reviews are also disappearing from books written by persons on the Left. I’ve heard nothing about it. But if the reasons are political, it’s an ugly trend.

     You’d think that Amazon, which has as much interest in selling books as the writers who market them there, would be averse to such a phenomenon. A private company is supposed to care strictly about the bottom line, right? Profit and loss rule the corporate boardroom, right? But there have been other developments, analogous to this one, that suggest that that’s not always the case. At any rate, profit and loss are abstractions; different people conceive of them differently, and not always in dollars-and-cents terms.

     Alternately, Amazon might have been infiltrated, as have many other companies, by the SJW set – and those are folks whose highest priority is denying the Right a platform. Given that Amazon is by far the largest online retailer of entertainment of all sorts, it’s obvious that the Left would regard it as a juicy target. So the probability that Amazon has been under attack from within is high. The probability that some infiltrators have gotten inside and are laboring to warp the company’s practices is just as high.

     Disturbing indeed. As Amazon is without a significant competitor in the eBook retailing business, it has ugly implications for the market for fiction packaged that way.

     It would be easy to conceive of this as a problem specifically for writers on the Right. It isn’t that alone. It’s also a problem for readers hungry for such a writer’s variety of fiction.

     Good fiction is not tied to one’s politics. Neither need it display the writer’s political orientation. I’ve enjoyed the works of many writers whose politics is left-liberal; Ursula LeGuin and Lois McMaster Bujold come to mind at once. But these are good writers; their stories are good ones, well told. Their politics is irrelevant to their storytelling ability, and to my ability to enjoy what they write.

     It is shameful that anyone should hope to disadvantage a writer, and those who have enjoyed or could enjoy his work, simply because of his politics. But in our take-no-prisoners political milieu, it’s all too thinkable that persons to whom politics is everything would endeavor to do so.

     For a long time, persons uninterested in the quality of a book have “reviewed” it according to the (perceived) political bent of the author. Most such “reviewers” hadn’t even read the book in question. That was bad – bad enough that Amazon tried to remedy it part way with the “Verified Purchaser” tag, But against a movement from inside Amazon, quite likely no remedy will be offered.

     Amazon’s standing in the eBook market makes this an urgent problem. Does anyone have any ideas about a corrective the indie-writer community could implement, whether at Amazon or elsewhere?

Evolutionary Muellerism.

Ms. Baldwin has a very good take on the chameleon-like nature of the Mueller “investigation”:
The most notable thing about the Mueller investigation to anyone who takes a sober look at it is its constantly evolving purpose. First, the purpose of the investigation was to find any evidence to support the allegation that Russia had hacked into the DNC’s emails. When no substantial evidence could be found to support that allegation, the purpose evolved into collusion between Trump and Russia to steal the election on behalf of Trump.

When no substantial evidence could be found to support that allegation, the purpose evolved yet again into Russia influencing the election on behalf of Trump, possibly without his knowledge or participation. When no substantial evidence could be found to support that allegation and all that could be found was a paltry number of social media ad buys – many of which were purchased after the election or advocated conflicting positions or didn’t even have anything to do with the election, the purpose became “sowing discord.”[1]

Mueller’s role in anything to do with the run up to the election and post-election events is itself an absurdity given his conflict of interest in being friends with former FBI Director Comey.

Hillary’s and the FBI’s clear involvement in financing the so-called “Steele Dossier” puts Comey in the crosshairs of any honest inquiry into any supposed Russian attempt to influence the election. Whether they sought to aid or hinder Trump is irrelevant. The issue is not whom they purported to help but whether they did anything at all.

On the dossier issue, why is it obvious that Comey would categorically have been uninvolved? Mueller has a conflict of interest because he would naturally be loathe to pursue a friend vigorously and objectively. And it would be laughable for him to contend that his brief is a limited one and therefore would not entail examination of other issues of possible criminality surrounding the dossier and its use in obtaining the now FISA warrants, since he has shown enthusiasm for straying off the reservation of his original charge and roaming far afield at that.

[1] "Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia." By Natylie Baldwin,, 3/15/18 (emphasis added).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

I Could Get Into This... least, if I were terminally ill:

     Have you ever wanted to reply to a clearly dishonest panhandler in such a fashion? I have.

     If you’re wondering, the scene above is from Interstate 60, a genuinely marvelous and uplifting movie that hasn’t received nearly the audience it deserves. Yes, it’s essentially a fantasy – among other things, there is no Interstate 60 – but it skewers many aspects of contemporary life that range from deplorable to ludicrous, and it does so humorously enough that the viewer can get the point without feeling he’s being proselytized. It had me cheering. I recommend it highly.

     There are days when it seems that no one says what he means. It’s a political plague, to be sure, which is a great part of the reason we elected Donald Trump to the presidency. But it’s also pandemic throughout commerce, the media, and law enforcement.

     For example, New York State law permits the police to lie to a suspect if they believe it will help their investigation. Federal agents routinely lie to targets to induce the results they want – in some cases, a statement from the target that the FBI can characterize as a lie to a federal agent: a prosecutable offense. And when was the last time you heard a straight question met with a straight answer during a Congressional hearing?

     At one time – and for all I know it could still be this way – a trial lawyer conducting a witness examination could compel the witness to answer a yes-or-no question with a yes-or-no answer. Whence arose the old gag about “Have you stopped beating your wife?” – a question which cannot be answered yes or no without damaging the witness. Typically the presiding judge could rule such a question out of bounds. Yet there are other questions that no judge would dare to rule out of bounds that are just as damaging. Here’s one: “Would it shake your faith in the defendant’s innocence if you were to learn that he’s been convicted of armed robbery?”

     Try answering that one yes or no without harming your credibility.

     I made use of this sort of deceit by implication in Statesman:

     The head of the Wooster defense cadre rose from his seat to stand immediately across from Redmond. He led off with twenty minutes’ worth of utterly mundane questions about the engineer’s age, marital status, education, employment history, and duties at OA. He paced his questions in a deliberate, placid manner. It was obvious to Sumner that he was trying to put Redmond at ease, setting him up for a Sunday punch.
     It took exactly the shape and substance that Sumner had anticipated and feared.
     “Have you ever been involved in a criminal trial before, Mr. Redmond?” the lawyer said.
     “What about a civil matter?”
     “Have you ever been called for jury service?”
     Weems smiled coldly. “Then I suppose no officer of the court has ever asked you about your penchant for violence?”
     Sumner tensed.
     “Well, wouldn’t you agree that one who has a habit of settling disputes with his fists would make a poor witness to a criminal action?”
     Redmond’s eyebrows rose. “Would you care to be more specific, Counselor?”
     Weems’s smile brightened to victorious intensity. He lowered his basso voice to its most grandiose octave. “How do you think the trial jury would react to hearing that you’d committed a felonious assault against a law-abiding citizen?”
     This is it. Either he dives across the table and throttles the bastard now, or we’re home free.
     Redmond looked briefly away.
     “I would more adversely than your wife would react to hearing that you’d been downloading and storing child pornography on your office computer.”
     Sumner came to full alert. The D.D.A.’s mouth dropped open. The stenographers gasped. Weems’s face went from incredulity to astonishment to fury.
     “How dare you!”
     He cocked an arm to strike Louis Redmond and swung with obvious force.
     With a move both swift and casual, Redmond caught the lawyer’s wrist before the blow could descend. He seemed to do nothing more. Yet six foot four, heavyset Horace Weems, one of the most feared defense lawyers in the Northeast, paled and staggered. He looked about to drop to his knees.
     “Perhaps you should sit, Counselor.”
     Weems sat. Redmond released the lawyer’s wrist and steepled his hands before him.
     “Under the law that governs slander,” Redmond said, “were you to say explicitly that I’ve committed a felony, I could take legal action against you for it. If it were to happen on federal government property, it might be a matter for the federal courts. Your only defense would be to produce court records to confirm your claim. So tell me, Counselor: do you have such records to present to such a court?”
     Weems’s eyes were fixed upon Louis Redmond. He said nothing.
     “Now as it happens,” Redmond continued, “I understood exactly what you said. You didn’t make an accusation that the law would deem actionable. You merely posed a hypothetical question that invited me and the others present to infer that you could do so. But as it happens, I have never even been stopped for a traffic violation, and I resent your insinuation to the contrary. So in reply, I invited these others to infer that you’re a consumer of the vilest imaginable entertainment. I would say, based purely on your reaction, that you didn’t like it much. Do you think you’d like it any better if I were to do it in open court, with a judge and jury listening?”

     Ballsy, eh? Trouble is, you’d have to be hyper-alert and absolutely ready to react in so pungent a fashion. (You’d have to be Louis Redmond.) I shan’t claim to speak for anyone but myself, but a question such as that would throw me for a loop.

     But if we were to severely discourage deliberate lies, misdirection, and obfuscation by persons in positions of authority or trust, the problem wouldn’t exist.

     Straight talk – the plain and open expression of what one really means – is more endangered than any species on the EPA’s list. Everyone “talks around the subject,” and the more important the subject, the more circuitous the circumlocutions. Think of a few subjects in the national discourse:

  • Race
  • Immigration
  • “Rape culture”
  • Federal deficits
  • Federal handouts
  • UnConstitutional laws
  • Governmental corruption
  • The failure of public schools
  • Political office as a life career
  • The corruption of our elections

     That’s ten, right off the hairless top of my pointy little head. Virtually no one with a voice in the national discourse talks straight about any of them. How many more could you come up with if you were to give it an hour’s thought?

     Now and then someone will violate the taboo on saying what people need to hear – a Pat Buchanan will declaim about America’s “world policeman” follies, or a Ron Paul will pull the mask away from the organized crime syndicate we call the Federal Reserve system – and the big guns, the major figures in politics and media, will immediately roll up and start blasting the upstart.

     Have a little C. S. Lewis for a conclusion:

     Consider too what undesirable deaths occur in wartime. Men are killed in places where they knew they might be killed and to which they go, if they are at all of the Enemy's party, prepared. How much better for us if all humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, as we have trained them, promising life to the dying, encouraging the belief that sickness excuses every indulgence, and even, if our workers know their job, withholding all suggestion of a priest lest it should betray to the sick man his true condition! [From The Screwtape Letters]

     If anyone deserves the straight truth, surely it would be a dying man. But how often does a man in such straits receive such truth, unfiltered and undecorated? And if we are so ready and willing to lie to him, where can we reliably find the truth? Whom can we trust?

     It’s enough to make me sick. But short of donning a dynamite vest and playing brinksmanship games such as the one in the opening clip, how do we put an end to it?

New U.S. outrage in the works.

Well, it appears that Assad is a relentless glutton for punishment, because not even a year later, the WaPo reported two weeks ago that the US is considering a new military action against Syria for - what else - retaliation against Assad's latest chemical attack, which took place several weeks earlier.

How do we know Assad (and apparently, Russia) was behind the attack? We don't: in fact, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a moment of bizarre honesty, admitted that he really doesn't know much at all about "whoever conducted the attacks" But hey: just like it is "highly likely" that Russia poisoned the former Russian double agent in the UK - with no proof yet - so it is "highly likely" that a clearly irrational Assad was once again behind an attack which he knew would provoke violent and aggressive retaliation by the US, and once again destabilize his regime.[1]

Flogging the “chemical weapons” dead horse for every last ounce of mendacious propaganda for arrogant U.S. aggressive war. It's what's for dinner.

I don’t know about you but dictating who rules Syria and how, playing chest bump with the Russians, cozying up to Saudis and Qataris, pushing lies about Iran's being the chief sponsor of terrorism, and setting the stage for war with Iran are way, way down there on my “to do” list. I get it that we haven't had a trade surplus since, what, 1975. Aggressive action on trade long overdue? Check. Clear as day.

But opening up a yet wider gush from the U.S. fiscal artery for pointless, illegal foreign war I don't get, yet such war and its enormous costs seem to captivate the thinking of U.S. moron elites. Pressing problems at home? MaƱana!

It appears that where it really counts, President Trump is nowhere to be found. Campaign skepticism about foreign adventure has been replaced with mindless surrender to the neocon crazies. Ready, fire, aim!

[1] "Russia Claims US Deploys Warships For Imminent Attack On Syria, Trains Militants For False Flag Attack." By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge 3/17/18.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Odd Thoughts Dept: What’s On The Cereal?

     This might be a symptom of encroaching Alzheimer’s, but lately I find myself increasingly attracted to questions no one is asking (e.g., “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” “Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop?” and “Who put eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can?”). Just a moment ago I stumbled over one that won’t...let...go:

     What odd-but-edible things have people put on their breakfast cereal?

     I mean, we’ve all seen raisins, blueberries, strawberry halves, and banana slices added to cereal, right? No one would blink at seeing any of those in a bowl of Cheerios®. But I once saw a college classmate grate Parmesan cheese onto his corn flakes. It threw me for quite a loop...but there it was. And yes, he ate it.

     I’d be willing to bet that up to now, no one has ever put:

  • Brussels sprouts;
  • Anchovies;
  • Miniature Snickers® bars;

     ...into a bowl of cereal. But only up to now. Once the possibility has been broached, you just know that someone, somewhere will try it out.

     Would anyone care to submit a tale of deviance at the breakfast table? Preferably true – and edible?

A Closer Look at the SPLC - Part One

The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) has a map of 917 groups it claims are hate groups in the USA.

917 - there may not even be 917 actual Nazis in the country (so-called hate groups are often infiltrated by the FBI and other groups wanting to keep an eye on them).

One of those "targeted" groups is The Ruth Institute. I hope my use of the term "targeted" was not too triggering.

Why The Ruth Institute?

It opposes non-traditional family structures - that includes step-families formed by divorce, SSM (same-sex marriage), and other variations, such as single parenthood, that may not be in the best interest of the child.

It is centered around the importance of the intact family, for the good of children.
The Ruth Institute believes that:
  • Every person has the right to know his or her cultural heritage and genetic identity.
  • Every child has a right to a relationship with their natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  • The Ruth Institute rejects the idea that a child is a problem to solve if you don’t want one and an object to purchase if you do want one.
 In short, it stands against the organizations and philosophies that break that structure apart. The Leftist Horde has banded against it, for that reason. Can't have dissent that is not punished - VERY STRONGLY punished.

The Vanco Company, which processes credit cards, has terminated its relationship with The Ruth Institute, due to its place on the SPLC list. That means that they will have a harder time getting funds to continue their mission.

You may think, as many Libertarians do, that this is a private decision by a private company. You would be wrong. The Left is making a last-ditch effort to strangle dissent from the Leftist Catechism by using corporate partners to reduce opposition.
Vanco sent the Ruth Institute a letter Thursday, declaring that it was canceling their service immediately. "Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute," the letter read. "The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies."
In a statement to PJ Media, Vanco confirmed that "we terminated our processing relationship with the Ruth Institute on Thursday, August 31." A Vanco spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny whether or not the company's conclusion that RI "promotes hate" was inspired by the SPLC's "hate map."
 This could cripple the organization. I'm sending a small donation to offset the SPLC's bulling tactic. As they do not have an alternative donation mechanism (and, PayPal has proven itself vulnerable to pressure), the address is below.

They Know What’s Best. Just Ask Them!

     After an unconscionably long time away, laughingly blamed upon such trivia as a crushing workload, the birth of a daughter, and the imminent transformation of his neighborhood into a ghetto, Dystopic / Thales has at long last returned. As usual, it’s well worth your time:

     “It’s for the children” was a tactic employed by the media during the Syrian refugee crisis, often by showing carefully staged bodies of children, or as in one particular example, showing an injured child in an ambulance. In the latter, the child was dirty and bleeding, but journalists still found time to sit him in the otherwise clean ambulance and take a carefully-considered photo to push their political points.

     However, today’s tactic is, perhaps, even more insidious. In this case, Progressives are using the gullibility and lack of experience of children to push for their political goals. One individual of some notoriety, whose name escapes me at the moment (it made the rounds on Twitter, if one of my readers has a name please drop it in the comments), mentioned that children are often wiser than their parents on social and political issues. And they are supposedly less gullible, too. And while Democrats want to raise the age required to purchase a gun, they simultaneously want to lower the voting age. Surely there’s no self-interest in that, right? After all, it’s easier to talk a child into Socialism with a basic “it’s not fair” kind of argument.

     Look, the fact is children just don’t understand. That’s why they are children, not little adults. They don’t have the life experience to make such weighty decisions yet.

     Thank God someone has finally said so.

     One of my blessings / curses is a very clear remembrance of my youth. For reasons beyond the scope of this tirade, I had to “grow up young.” Part of the experience was the shocking discovery that what I’d previously believed, in my youthful ignorance of that ultimate confounder of unfounded opinions, reality, was...not so. At odds with the observable facts. In a word, wrong.

     It was embarrassing, but far less embarrassing than if my father had permitted me to spout off in public, as so many young folks do today.

     You see, back then, when the “older and wiser heads” were still weighing the merits and demerits of descending from the trees, adults had a saying: “Children should be seen and not heard.” It was based on what I call a “sturdy wisdom:” Kids don’t know shit. How could they? We learn the greater part of what we need to know to survive and flourish by observing consequences. Childhood is a period during which one is allowed to be safely irresponsible. Children are insulated against the harsher consequences of their beliefs and actions. As we mathematical types like to say, quod erat demonstrandum.

     Children – a loosely defined term; today I’d say the irresponsible puerility that defines it isn’t guaranteed to be over and done until Junior’s 35th birthday – don’t possess sound perspective or good judgment. But they will exploit any unwarranted attribution of wisdom to preen themselves and offer you all sorts of opinions. Rarely are those opinions worth more than what they once left in their diapers.

     But kids make great foils for evoking tender emotions in the unthinking. Note that I didn’t say “the unthinking adult.” He who can’t or won’t think clearly – i.e., who won’t associate decision and action with consequences and learn from the latter – will only survive if he’s protected from the consequences of his actions by more responsible persons. He remains a child, no matter how old he is.

     The promotion of ignorant, emotion-dominated children — some taller than others — as founts of sociopolitical wisdom is one of the great follies of our era. But it’s massively useful to the Left, whose strategists and tacticians know full well how tender we are toward the kids…and how, as the kids-to-adults ratio continues to shrink, that effect will only become stronger.

     One final thought: Children are more susceptible to appeals to envy than are adults. They’re more likely to wish harm on others who have something they don’t. And they’re quite inventive about justifying demands that arise from their envy.

     Socialism is denotatively defined as a politico-economic system in which “the workers” own “the means of production.” Mind you, many a “socialist” would quarrel with that definition, but that’s the way it was defined by Karl Marx, and that’s the definition that appears in the dictionary:

     Socialism, n: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

     However, the propulsive impulse toward socialism is envy: the desire to see others who have more brought low. How could it be otherwise? No socialist economy has ever done anything else, and socialist advocates and agitators know it. But children, equipped with neither adequate intellectual knowledge nor real-world experience, can easily be led into it through their propensity to envy.

     It’s been said, though I forget from whom I first heard it, that if the transmission of civilized values and accumulated social capital were to be interrupted for just one generation, Mankind would revert to savagery. The Left is ardent to manipulate us through the uninstructed and inexperienced: our children. Draw the moral – and keep your kids out of their clutches.

Can we all just get a grip?

Russia has been the favorite demon of the intel and media groups for a while, and everyone here knows about all these sanctions and wild accusations. This guy has been in Britain for something like 8 years, living under his own name, and appearing in public like a regular person. The Russians could have killed him at a time of their choosing. But, we are to believe that now, 8 years later, years after he has caused all the damage he is capable of causing, Putin decided he needs to die now, and sent someone to kill him. Russia would gain next to nothing in this scenario, and risk a lot, at least diplomatically. But, Western powers seeking an excuse, any excuse, for a new war have a lot to gain by killing or attempting to kill the guy and blaming Russia for it. And its not like they have to worry about the media, they'll repeat the RUSSIA DID IT line as they have for the past couple years.[1]
Yes, die NOW. The PERFECT time to risk being seen as engaging in underhanded activity that synchs exactly with Nikki Nooki's and Sarah Huckabee Carter's best efforts to paint Russians as wearing loin clothes and putting bones through their noses.

Western governments have all settled on vague allegations of chemical weapons usage as the one-size-fits-all accusation to demonize whoever it is that needs demonizing. What’s next? I mean, where do you go to make Russians out as genetic mistakes after you’ve played the nerve gas, barrel bomb, political assassination, cyber hack, airliner shoot down, deliberate bombing of civilians, and provocative ship and aircraft activity in international waters and skies cards?

[1] "Comment by greenskeeper carl on “Drums Along The Potomac.” By James Kunstler, ZeroHedge, 3/16/18 (emphasis added).

Pearls of expression.

On the possible causes of the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse:
And obviously we can't rule out the Russians.
Comment by Noah B The Savage Gardener on "Mailvox: Hultgreen-Curie, architecture edition." By Vox Popoli, 3/15/18.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Catholic Book Club

Our pastor bought, and distributed, a book to the adults in our church. It's called Kingdom of Happiness, by Jeffrey Kirby, STD.

No, that's not a sexually-related disease, it references his title of education, Sacred Theologiae Doctor ("Doctor of Sacred Theology"). That it shares its initials with an unfortunate condition is merely coincidental.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Our group has been enjoying our reading and discussion, and we all look forward to the next week's discussions. We just finished the chapter, Those Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness, and are looking forward to reading The Merciful.

We now look at the Beatitudes in a whole new light.

The Left And The Philosophy Of Power

     This piece from Mike Hendrix has remained on my mind, especially this portion of it:

     [S]ome of them, starting with Obama’s pal Bill Ayers, have openly declared that millions of us will probably have to be marched off to the camps and murdered in order to finally get the dodo off the ground.
     I asked, “well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?” and the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.

     And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

     And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”

     Twenty-five million people.

     I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

     And they were dead serious.

     I can recall at least two other such admissions during Obama’s Reign Of Error, which a cursory Duck-Duck-Go-ing doesn’t unearth. But I strongly suspect such sentiments are far from rare among the more dedicated of these Leftard fanatics; mass slaughter is baked right into the totalitarian cake, a feature, not a bug.

     Ayres has dismissed the informant who narrated the above, Larry Grathwohl, as “having no credibility.” But he wouldn’t deny Grathwohl’s assertions directly and unambiguously. Perhaps he’s aware that others have confirmed the sentiments to which Grathwohl testified.

     For my part, I find Grathwohl’s statement entirely consistent with what I know of the Left. Theirs is an ethic-free philosophy. It goes like this:

  1. We are morally superior to our adversaries.
  2. Therefore, they have no right to oppose us.
  3. Therefore, they have no rights at all.
  4. Therefore, we can dispose of them as we please and whenever it suits us.

     Every particle of evidence we have, drawn from the Left’s own words and deeds, confirms this. Bear in mind that some of them have already acted in accordance with it.

     Mike’s assessment is dead on target: mass slaughter and other horrors are “baked right into the totalitarian cake, a feature, not a bug.”

     And it is long past time we in the Right took official notice of it.

     The Philosophy of Power is usually summarized as “might makes right.” That’s actually a misapplication of terms. The Philosophy of Power denies the existence of rights. In effect, it dismisses all conceptions of morals and ethics a priori. Its outlook is teleological: whatever gets the job done. “The job,” of course, will be defined by those who hold the preponderance of might – and they will brook no dissent from it.

     I suppose that comes as no surprise to a regular Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch. What I have in mind this morning is how the Philosophy of Power dovetails, in operation, with another well known conception: the philosophy of Utilitarianism, usually summarized “the greatest good for the greatest number.”

     The Utilitarian will tell you that he seeks “the greatest good for the greatest number,” nothing else. But let’s follow that out for a bit:

  1. First, he and those in league with him must settle upon a “good” to be sought.
  2. Next, they must choose a means by which to seek it.
  3. Next, they must implement their means.
  4. Resisters, who cannot possibly have “the greatest good for the greatest number” as their priority, must be thwarted. But what means would be appropriate?
    • Persuasion has failed.
    • Democratic processes don’t eliminate a resister’s capacity for resistance.
    • Therefore, only force remains.
  5. Having thus satisfied what he uses for a conscience, the Utilitarian will employ coercion.
  6. But coercion only works if behind it looms the ultimate threat: death. So the Utilitarian must be ready to kill those who won’t surrender.

     And as I’ve written before, the Utilitarian makes no “money-back guarantees:”

     It is obvious that many a State policy formulated to bring about some well-conceived end has failed to do so. Sometimes the failure was inherent in the policy conception; sometimes it was the result of discontinuity in administration or application. What matters is that the result upon which the policy was founded was not achieved. How, then, shall we defend, morally or practically, the imposition of collective decision-making that overrode individuals' claims to rightful autonomy, when the very good they were promised in exchange for their rights has failed to materialize? Shall we make restitution to those who were deprived of their lives, liberties, or properties in service to the unachieved goal? If so, what becomes of collective utility's conceptual superiority to individual rights? If not, why should individuals agree to submit to the usurpation of their rights, however conceived, in the first place?

     It becomes clear from such simple analyses that utilitarianism in theory reduces to absolutism in practice.

     And thus we come back to the Philosophy of Power. Gee, it’s like we never left.

     I’ve argued before that there can be no compromise with the Left, because any compromise would undermine a critical principle. The principle, of course, is the existence of natural individual rights. the Left presupposes that no such rights exist. Their polemicists routinely cloak that presumption in the language of the Utilitarian: “This is for the common good.” In effect, this is a bid to nullify any moral test of the means they choose. Their chosen means are always increased government power: the power of the sword.

     If the Left is allowed that power, they will use it. Have no doubt of that – and indulge no further impulse to look like a “nice guy” in confrontation with those to whom power is all.


“Amazing” hardly begins to describe the delusion involved. Highly educated people indulge in willful blindness on all aspects of third-world immigration in Europe and America.

Muslims and Africans do not belong in first-world countries. Their presence in any number is absurd. That they might very much like to live in such countries is undeniable but so also is it undeniable that they have built nothing in their home countries. One can only look at their countries of origin and conclude that they are incapable of building functioning societies that are not highly stratified, klepocratic, and kept in line by primitive Islamic law.

Yet highly educated Westerners slobber over such people and endlessly proclaim to their populations that the immigrant contribution is like no other in all of Western history. In pushing mass immigration, they engage in either pathetic self-delusion or a vicious hatred of their own kind. My money is on “vicious hatred.”

Instead [of confronting third-world gang violence and no-go areas in formerly all-white countries], newspapers like the New York Times have tended in recent years towards the same denialism as Angela Merkel about the problems which mass immigration from the developing world is causing in Europe. They have tended to praise the "courage" of suspending normal border controls while covering over or ignoring the terrible consequences of importing millions of people whose identities are unknown. And of course, like Mayor Hidalgo in Paris, they have tended to shoot the messengers more than report the news, dismissing any such stories as "fake news", "alt-right" or "far right" propaganda. [1]
Major destruction and transformation take place because of immigration madness and the Western elites -- and pathetic man-children -- adamantly refuse to see it.

[1]  "The High Price of Denial." By Douglas Murray, Gatestone Institute, 3/15/18.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Quickies: In Which Direction To Look Next Time

     Do you remember how every talking head with access to a microphone declared with total, unshakeable certainty, that Donald Trump could not win the 2016 presidential election? That he would never be the president? Do you remember major figures in high office, including Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama guaranteeing that there will never, ever be a President Trump? Do you remember how the media ridiculed the few who disagreed, including the endlessly courageous Ann Coulter?

     If you don’t remember, YouTube has lots of video reminders available.

     Do you remember how those selfsame deriders of the Trump candidacy went on to predict disasters, catastrophes tantamount to Armageddon, because Donald Trump had defeated their anointed, pre-certified First Woman President In American History? Do you remember them aghast at how “the best qualified person to be president in history” had lost to the unqualified upstart Trump? Do you remember them nattering about how “much of the country is crying...terrified...fearful for their children’s future?”

     YouTube has lots of reminders of those pronouncements, too.

     This is hubris: the deeply held conviction that one cannot be wrong, that those who disagree cannot be right, that one occupies an elevated plane of knowledge and insight that others cannot reach. This is what comes of “believing your own bullshit,” a sin that Barack Obama admitted to. The Punditocracy adopted that sin long before Obama did – and they simply cannot stand to have reality rubbed in their faces. So they deny it, they scream “fraud,” “cheating,” “collusion,” “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” “xenophobia,” and every other imprecation in the book, and do their damnedest to terrify everyone who'll still listen to them.

     “Defeat is education,” Louis Nizer has said. Being proved wrong is education. It disorients. The more conclusively wrong one is shown to be, the more disorienting it is...also, the more therapeutic. At least it can be therapeutic, if one prefers consciousness to catatonia.

     But for being proved wrong to be healthful, one must admit to having been proved wrong and ask the relevant questions: “What did I miss? What evidence did I disregard or under-weight? What flaw in my reasoning led me astray?”

     Who, among the uncounted talking heads who were certain that: 1) Trump would never be president, and: 2) that his presidency would be disastrous for the United States, has asked those questions and answered them honestly, without allowing his prejudices to seize upon evasions or excuses?

     I suppose what I’m asking is whether there are any honest partisans in the media. Are there? Have any of the opinion-mongers I’ve described above displayed even a glimmer of increased knowledge or deepened understanding? Because if there are any such, it would be worthwhile to pay attention to them. They might be the ones who are right the next time around.

     Think about it.

This is Why I Think We Actually, Literally, May Be On the Verge of Civil War

Because a significant number of people cannot even bring themselves to treat family and long-time friends as a part of the human race.

Video about this here.

Years ago, sometime in the mid-1980s, there was a mini-series, North and South. It was an television program that tried to balance the record on both sides, using a fictional story of two families, and their experience. I watched it, in part, as I was also enrolled in a course on Civil War and Reconstruction, as part of my degree.

Side Note - my professor, a gentle and kindly man with an impish sense of humor, said one day about the series, "I just can't see how the South could have produced so much cotton - they couldn't spare any to cover the lady's chests." Well, there were a lot of heaving, exposed bosoms in the story.

It was kinda cheesy, but did reference the events of that time fairly well. Neither side came out as complete villains, or heroes. Just people, doing the best they could under the circumstances.

What was interesting about it was the comparison between two of the main characters, one a secessionist firebrand from the South, the other (played by Kirstie Alley - very good performance, if a little over-the-top), an abolitionist who, after her husband is killed at Harper's Ferry (a Black man), descends into madness.

Well, to be fair, neither of the two fanatics were all that emotionally or mentally stable.

The fanaticism was what fascinated me - the way those two were incapable of seeing the logic or arguments of the opposing side. Most others had opinions, but, in that story, it was the extreme radicals that pushed the war to happen.

Sometimes, I see that same fanaticism at play today.

Past Pleasures, Present Pressures

     I’ve found many things to comment on today. Rather than slough any of them, I’ve decided to produce another of the dreaded “assorted” posts. Proceed at your own risk.

     It occurred to me recently that over the past twenty years I’ve acquired only one new taste. When I was much younger, the world seemed filled to the brim with new and exciting things, and I was eager to sample them all. Yet today, when the explosion of pleasures and diversions has made the spectrum of my youth seem constricted and pale, I have very little interest in trying anything I haven’t yet sampled. It usually seems like too much work and expense for too small a probability of reward. But that’s not the whole story.

     Tastes do tend to set in early to middle adulthood. And “pop” culture, being a form of mass merchandising, must change constantly, for only constant variation can maintain product sales, much less increases thereof. Thus, an older person’s attitude toward current “pop” music, art, or what have you is likely to be negative. But this is normal – a designation the Left is doing its level best to anathematize.

     Some people will do anything to remain “relevant.” The limelight must be a terribly addictive thing, for very few who’ve bathed in it surrender it willingly, even when it’s time and long past time.

     For example, it’s plain from the video in yesterday’s emission that Hillary Clinton has decided to join the cult of victimism. It’s a bit odd for a woman who served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State to claim that her failure to gain the grand prize of her ambitions was due to anyone other than herself. Yet having been conclusively thwarted in her quest for the presidency after enduring Bill’s philandering for so many years, she had to fall back on something. Perhaps “I’ve been wronged” is the best she can do. At any rate, it’s consistent with her lack of insight and imagination. But to take such a campaign overseas defies all my attempts at explanation.

     Richard Dawkins has morphed from amateur bio-morphologist to professional atheist to crusader against a unique, bizarre notion of “bias:”

     Professional atheist Richard Dawkins continues to push the envelope against a God-deluded world, proposing that cultivating and eating human “meat” might help society overcome its “taboo” against cannibalism.

     Commenting on an article from the UK’s Independent newspaper, which touts the benefits of lab-grown “clean meat,” Dawkins tweeted earlier this month that perhaps something similar could be done with human flesh, which would assist western culture in shedding yet another irrational remnant of its Judeo-Christian roots.

     Dawkins said that eating lab-grown human meat would provide an “interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus ‘yuck reaction’ absolutism,” which keeps people from doing things just because they seem morally repugnant.

     Here we confront a reliable telltale of the ersatz intellectual. Dawkins has not considered even for a moment the possibility that those innate repugnances are founded on built-in knowledge of dangers – what he would call instincts, reinforced and refined by natural selection, in a lesser species. The man simply doesn’t think; he merely emits pronouncements from his personal prejudices. Atop that, he routinely drips scorn and derision upon others for our “irrational” reactions, taboos, and convictions...and the media continue to champion him for it. There’s a moral in there, somewhere.

     Apropos of the subject of tastes: Now and then, the C.S.O. will turn on the television for some purpose other than to watch a Yankee or Ranger game, a movie on DVD, or one of Amazon Prime Video’s offerings. Lately she and (much to my surprise) I have enjoyed TNT’s series The Alienist, about a child-murder spree in late 19th Century New York City. Among its pleasures it numbers the fine acting of Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning, a striking portrait of New York City at that time, including the slums and hovels to which immigrants were relegated in those years, and numerous other fascinating details about the period. Recommended.

     Concerning Amazon Prime Video, we can heartily recommend the following:

  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • Electric Dreams
  • Bosch
  • Wolf Hall
  • Absentia
  • The Kettering Incident
  • Hunted
  • Britannia

     Some of the above are Amazon Originals; the others are acquisitions from British and Australian producers. We found all of them to be worth our time – something I rarely say about a show from the “conventional” TV channels.

     One of the blessings Amazon has brought us is a means whereby niche products can be marketed to niche purchasers. For example, the C.S.O. and I have long desired to revisit our old favorite cartoons: Crusader Rabbit and Rocky and Bullwinkle. There can’t be many persons with that particular yen, which would have made the prospect of recouping the production costs of such DVDs a remote one indeed. But Amazon’s reputation for being the place one can find anything at all means that a niche marketer has a real chance of connecting with his targeted consumer.

     Extend this mechanism to any product – and a growing number of services – then add Amazon’s discounting and justly famous customer service. The effect has broadened the spectrum of product offerings and the prospects of would-be entrepreneurs beyond what would have been thinkable even twenty years ago. I mean, can you imagine succeeding with this product in a world without Amazon?

     I’m at work on a sequel to Innocents, with the working title Experienced. It’s founded on a couple of mild speculations about near-future developments. One of these is a sturdy wisdom of which no Internet user can be ignorant: specifically, that no matter how bizarre some sexual variation seems to Smith, there’s a Jones somewhere who’s, ah, jonesing for it. But the reverse of that coin is interesting, too: If a sexual variation is rendered inaccessible, those who’ve dabbled in it will be vexed, and probably spurred to action.

     So: We know that there are some thousands of persons worldwide who inhabit the borderland of sexual identity: bodies that outwardly appear female, but possess male genitalia. We also know that there are thousands of persons – mostly male – who seek such persons as sex partners. Should the former become unavailable, how would the latter react?

     I explored one possibility in Innocents, albeit without first postulating that “shemales” – born male, but modified through surgery, diet, and hormones into appearing female except for genitalia – had somehow vanished. But given the emergence of a technology of desire control, it’s quite possible that the emotional disorder that gives rise to “shemales” could be extinguished. (See this novel for details.) How would those who desire “shemale” lovers react? For that matter, how would persons who have already elected that state for themselves react to the notion that their aberration is steadily being eliminated from existence, leaving them a demographic isolated in time?

     I await your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quickies: “Just Asking Questions”

     Yet another example of why I and so many others hold the eponymous founder of the Ace of Spades HQ in such high esteem:

     There is a game in politics. The Truthers played this game; some politicians hoping to curry favors with the Truthers played it. Like John Kerry.

     The game goes like this: While not explicitly endorsing a conspiracy theory for which there is no evidence, you sort of talk it up to maintain its viability as a political attack point. You don't say definitively you believe it -- you just say, as Patterico says today, it raises "interesting" questions.

     You keep your "Clean Skin" as far as being a Conspiracy Theorist, and yet you do all you can to suggest to the conspiracy-minded that the conspiracy is All Too Real.

     It's a way to speak as Yasser Arafat did, to two different audiences telling two different stories. You encourage conspiracy theorizing, while (mostly) not committing yourself to any particular version of the conspiracy theory.

     Just Askin' Questions, you know.

     Exactly. And Our Beloved Media know how the game is played. Whenever a politician or a handmaiden initiates a round, his interlocutor has three choices:

  1. To cooperate passively;
  2. To cooperate actively;
  3. To bore in with sharply focused questions that demand an exact statement of the speaker’s meaning.

     Seldom – oh, how seldom! – does a media interviewer elect choice #3. He would risk the disease media types dread above all others: loss of access. Only an interviewer who feels his position in media firmament to be invulnerable, or one who feels he has nothing more to lose and might as well bet his future on a wild gamble, would do so.

     Please read Ace’s piece in its entirety. It’s excellent even by his standards.

The Will To Believe

     You would think, more than a year into the presidency of Donald Trump, that the talking heads would have relaxed to it. You would think that to be indisputable on the Right, inasmuch as Trump has followed a course more conservative, and more swiftly effective, than the first year of the Reagan Administration. You would think that the applause for Trump from the Heritage Foundation, an unstained bastion of conservative sentiment and thought, would nail it to the barn wall.

     You’d be wrong. The report from the House intelligence committee conducting the Russia probe to the effect that there is no evidence supporting the notion that either campaign colluded with Russia has excited a frenzy in the political and media elite. Some are decrying the committee’s report as partisan, or premature, or what have you. Others are doing their best to back away from positions they’d maintained stoutly before this.

     About 36 minutes into this Special Report video from yesterday evening, comes a panel discussion in which, to quote Ace at AoSHQ:

     Jonah Goldberg emphasized the positive by claiming the big news from the report is that it vindicates the intel agencies' finding that Russia "interfered" in our election. Mollie Hemingway then told him it also knocks down the "Washington consensus" that Trump was a traitor who colluded with Russia.

     At this point, Jonah became visibly angry as he defended the "Washington consensus," as if he were a card-carrying member of it, and essentially defended both the liberal media (such as CNN) and his NeverTrump fellow travelers by claiming that Russia/Trump collusion had never, ever, ever been part of the "Washington consensus." I guess this means, "So I have nothing to apologize for, nor do my palz at CNN."

     Mollie then pointed out that if he and the "Washington consensus" of which he seems so proud and so defensive had not been believers in the collusion narrative, maybe they could have made that clear by explicitly writing what they believed and what they did not believe to be the truth.

     Goldberg was flustered by Hemingway’s riposte. There’s a reason for that: the Punditocracy and the political elite in both parties have strained to associate President Trump with Russian efforts to perturb the 2016 election. Neither the Democrats nor the Republican Establishment nor the media have ever wanted to leave any other impression with the public. All three have done their best to persuade the public – sometimes subtly, sometimes not – that Trump’s accession to the White House is somehow illegitimate. Their pride and prejudices require that they believe and maintain exactly that.

     The will to believe what one wishes to believe can be very strong. Here’s another example:

     How much more self-glorifying can you get? But of course, Hillary Clinton wrote a huge book of excuses and self-exculpations for her election loss. Her vanity demands that she find “victories” beneath her defeat.

     Needless to say, Hillary Clinton would love to see a verdict of collusion with a foreign power against President Trump. Not that it would put her in the Oval Office, of course. But the salve for her wounded ego would be most soothing.

     Wishful thinking is always risky. In politics and political opinion-mongering it can be fatal.

     The aim of the High is to remain where they are. – George Orwell

     The American mind is uncomfortable with the notion of an elite. We have a predisposition toward egalitarianism, even though actual equality among men is impossible. The closest we can come to actual equality is equality in our rights as individuals. This is usually phrased as “equality before the law.”

     But such is the nature of Man that there will always be some who demand to be viewed as superior to others, with all the honors and emoluments attendant thereto. This is the essence of the dynamic of politics: Only persons who believe themselves fit to wield power over others will seek it. Among those, a few will attain their goals while the rest are left behind...but the left-behinds will not cease to believe themselves worthy to rule.

     The same dynamic governs altitude in political commentary. No one who writes political opinion believes that others’ insights and analyses are as good as his. In this field as in politics itself, those who have already established themselves upon the heights will be hostile to the notion that they could ever be seriously wrong. If an “upstart” should challenge them in such a manner, it will provoke them to fury. The panel exchange from yesterday evening’s Special Report provides a tasty example.

     We who ask only to be left alone want clarity of vision and purpose. They who endeavor to rule us – body or mind – want to remain where they are: i.e., to decree and pontificate without challenge or dissent. No one who has attained such a position ever willingly steps down from it. To be challenged by a member of the hoi polloi is to them lese majeste. To be forcibly displaced from the heights is unthinkable.

     I’ve been writing this drivel for more than twenty years. The underlying truths have always been the same. Mankind divides into two mutually hostile groups: those who want to be left alone, and those who refuse to permit it. The former group wriggles and writhes to escape the coils of the latter, while the latter will be damned if it will permit the former to escape.

     Hasn’t anyone spotted a convenient planetoid yet?

     Political tags—such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and. so forth—are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Amazing graphic showing international trade flows.

Click here.

You can manipulate the globe with your mouse.

Hat tip: The Sounding Line.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Story: What It Is, What It Isn’t

     I read – or try to read, at least – quite a lot of fiction from indie writers. The percentage of them who fail to appreciate the required characteristics of a story worth reading is simply appalling. (Sometimes their tales start off well enough to seduce me into paying for their stuff, which makes it worse.) At a rough guess, about 75% of the indie novels I start, I toss aside long before the climax, assuming there will be one. Clearly, the indie movement has had both positive and negative consequences.

     When I find myself unable to finish reading a book, the cause is likely to be a faulty or missing story.

     What constitutes a story is not arbitrary. It wasn’t laid down by some gaggle of fusty academics intent upon distinguishing themselves from the hoi polloi. It’s a discipline that a writer must acquire, and must respect fanatically, if he is to produce worthwhile fiction.

     Yes, this is the start of yet another series of pieces. Consider yourself warned.

     One of the oldest exhortations a writer is guaranteed to receive as (if not before) he sets forth is to write from your passion. That is: write about what engages you deeply and intimately.

     This maxim is susceptible to misinterpretation. “Passion” is not “obsession.” A writer obsessed with sex will succeed in producing only pornography. Neither is a passion the same as a fetish. A writer hung up on mackerel, Corvettes, or the 1927 New York Yankees will fail to attract a readership beyond that of compatible fetishists.

     A passion worth writing from is one that can be communicated to the reader, on the strength of his common humanity with the writer. As I wrote in The Storyteller’s Art,

     [T]he writer can’t simply scream at his readers, “Feel deeply for my characters!” That would be akin to an actor trying to evoke audience emotion without a script, by the sheer power of his expressions and poses. That’s called “emoting,” and no self-respecting theatergoer—or reader—will stand for it.

     Theme, as embodied in plot and character, is the conduit by which the writer transmits his passion to his readers. There’s a conservation law at work here, though not one you’d study in first-year physics: passion can neither be created nor destroyed, but only transmitted from artist to consumer. The passion originates with the writer. He strives to infect his reader with it. His vehicle for doing so is his theme.

     A communicable passion is one that has its roots in our shared human nature: i.e., our common needs, drives, and desires. Military SF writer Tom Kratman has expressed this principle thus: “I write to illuminate eternal verities.” As human nature is, as far as we know, immutable, its elements are as close to eternal as we can find on this side of the veil of Time.

     What human needs, drives, and desires, as depicted in the fiction you’ve read, engage and impassion you? Justice? Freedom? Charity? Love? Courage? Perseverance? Whatever it is, you’re most likely to produce an arresting story by wrapping your tale around it.

     Of course, a passion is not a story; it’s the reason the story is written, the engine that gives it drive. Whatever passion animates it, a story must also conform to Brunner’s Laws of Fiction:

  1. The raw material of fiction is people.
  2. The essence of story is change.

     (The late John Brunner produced some of the most riveting science fiction of his era. His blockbuster Stand on Zanzibar won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, back when the Hugo was an award worth having. In his books, one can see a perfectly disciplined adherence to the two laws above, as if they were written into his genes. Whether or not they were his possessions from the start of his career, formulating and articulating them for our benefit may be his greatest gift to us.)

     A worthwhile story will always be about the changes someone must undergo in confronting some significant problem. The problem might be internal or external; what compels him to confront it is the writer’s choice. In coping with it (or failing to cope with it), he must change. He must learn something about himself, or people generally, or the world around him that has emotional impact, and he must adjust himself, whether attitudinally or behaviorally, in consequence.

     These are the absolute requirements of every worthwhile story. You cannot, no matter how prodigious your effort nor how great your skill with words, create a story worth reading in which the protagonist experiences no change.

     Your probability of success at crafting a worthwhile story will be determined largely by:

  • Whether you’ve selected a sound, communicable passion from which to write;
  • Whether you’ve chosen problem for your protagonist that the reader will deem significant and worthy;
  • Whether you’ve contrived a scheme of events and changes that strike the reader as consistent with our common nature,
  • And whether you can make those things consistent with one another.

     From there, your struggle to entertain, edify, and exalt the reader will enter the realm of narrative technique, about which...

     More anon.

Bayou Renaissance Man: Africa: land, tribes, and animist traditions

Bayou Renaissance Man: Africa: land, tribes, and animist traditions - Commenter is kurt9:

What I've been thinking is this: The average age of a Mid West farmer in the U.S. is early to mid 60's. These guys are going to retire soon. It is my understanding that these Afrikaner farmers are, indeed, excellent farmers.

What if the U.S. government offered to buy out these farmers, pay the proceeds split between the Afrikaners and the South African government, then relocated the Afrikaner farmers that have just been bought out to the U.S. so that they can replace the retiring mid-west farmers?

The big issue is the cost. How much would it cost to buy out these Afrikaners? $10 billion? $50 billion? We dropped $5 Trillion into the Muslim Middle-east over the past 15 years with absolutely nothing in return. It seems to me that this buy-out concept is peanuts in comparison, and we get a whole new generation of farmers in out Mid-west.

Such a buy-out option strikes me as the appropriate positive-sum solution to the issue. The black South Africans get the money, along with the land, that they would not otherwise get. The Afrikaners get some value for their land (which they are not about to get under the current plan). Lastly, the Afrikaners get residency (and ultimately citizenship) in the U.S. The U.S. gets the benefit of another generation of decent farmers to replace the guys who are retiring.

 It seems to me that only issue is how to get this scheme past the PC police here in the U.S.

March 6, 2018 at 10:38 PM

Read the whole thing. The idea has some merit, not just for America, but for other Western countries losing their farmers.

Bayou Renaissance Man: Will autonomous vehicles be used to end private ownership of cars?

Bayou Renaissance Man: Will autonomous vehicles be used to end private ownership of cars?

I ran across this early today, and think that the comments alone make it worth reading.

Leftists: The American people have heard you, loud and clear - they don't trust you, or the crackpot schemes you've long wanted to impose on us.

Your control of people is OVER. Get used to it. The "herd everyone into the cities, and abolish the car" idiocy is dead. Not gonna resurrect.

IF there is a future for the autonomous car, it lies in accommodating the buyer, not the government.